Portable Library Writing Tables


One of the interesting forms I didn’t get to discuss in “Campaign Furniture,” is the portable library writing table. It’s typically a three-piece affair – the desktop lifts off the two pedestals for travel.

The version shown above is from the 1907 Army & Navy Co-Operative Society catalog, though the form appears over and over again in many of the catalogs.

It also appears as a reproduction at times. And this form is the ancestor of the modern campaign desk that is shown on sawhorses at Pottery Barn etc.

Mark Firley at The Furniture Record shows a particularly nice antique version in his blog today. The top surface of the desk tilts, there is a secretary gallery and the drawers in the pedestal units are protected by drawers. Check it out here.

And by the way, free domestic shipping for “Campaign Furniture” ends on Saturday. So if you were waiting to hide the charge on your April statement….

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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6 Responses to Portable Library Writing Tables

  1. jstrom75 says:

    Any chance of a supplement to the book? (Which is beautifully done, by the way.)

    • lostartpress says:

      The book stands as-is. There are dozens of forms I didn’t explore because the style is simply massive – enough for a book on maritime versions, Anglo-Indian versions and on and on.

  2. Jeff Faulk says:

    So should we expect Campaign Furniture volume 2 in a few years, then? If so I’ll look forward to it, I enjoyed the first greatly 🙂

    • lostartpress says:

      I already have the outline and another research trip this summer. But gotta do some other people’s very important books first.

      • Jeff Faulk says:

        Oh, absolutely. I’m also looking forward to Furniture of Necessity, since that looks to be what I’m probably gonna be making a lot of once we move to another home… It’s funny, I had actually been considering making a campaign-style desk for my home office, but not the one you showed in your book (no offense!)– and then you turn this up, and it’s much more what I had envisioned. So, awesomeness all around, even if it’s April First 🙂

  3. tsstahl says:

    I was half expecting campaign doll house furniture. April 1, and all that. 🙂

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